It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of short weeks, the highest-rated comedy in North America is ending—forever. Like Seinfeld, Friends, and many more that came before it, The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET, CTV) now has a permanent place in pop culture and we’re really going to miss it when it’s gone.
TBH, we’re already a little misty-eyed over the fact that the cast and crew shot their final episode—on the same night that series stars Kunal Nayyar and Johnny Galecki celebrated their shared birthdays, too. And while it helps knowing that we can look forward to 279 episodes of the record-breaking series playing in some form or another for years to come, we sure will miss eating takeout in Leonard and Penny’s living room each week.
So as we get ready for one final hurrah on May 16, here’s a look back at some of the other monumental numbers from the series’ run.
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Thank you Thank you for your words Thank you for your encouragement Thank you for tuning in night in and night out Thank you for the stories you shared about how this show made you feel Thank you too, for the not so nice times Thank you, for lifting us up when we were down Fame can feel like a cage, so Thank you for making us feel safe enough to be free. Thank you for letting me share my birthday on stage with my six best friends, And Thank you, for you, because without you- there would be no us. So this goes out to you, the fans… One last time. In love and gratitude, -Kunal
$1 million earnings per episode
For these keeping track, that makes the cast—Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg—the highest-paid comedic actors on television. (Which makes sense, given that this is the longest-running multi-cam comedy in TV history.) But it’s also worth noting that in 2017 the leads all took a pay cut to the tune of $100,000 per episode so that co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch could earn raises that increased their salaries to roughly $450,000 per episode.
73, as in Sheldon’s favourite number
Not only was 1973 the year in which Parsons was born, but in the show’s 73rd episode, Sheldon explained why he often sports his favourite number, too.
“Seventy-three is the 21st prime number. Its mirror, 37, is the 12th and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying 7 and 3… and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001.”
In other words, satisfying science.
52 Emmy nominations (as of now)
Of those, the show went on to win 10 times. Four of those occasions were Jim Parsons taking home a statue, which further explains Warner Bros.’ reluctance to continue the show without him. (More on that below.)
The show’s production studio, Warner Bros., wanted to make at least two more seasons, which would have brought the tally to 14, but in the end, Jim Parsons was ready to move on to new projects and opted not to renew his contract when it expired. Since no one could picture the show without Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory would end at a dozen seasons. As a way to commemorate the historic run, Kaley Cuoco has been sporting a necklace with the number 12 on it and she gifted the same necklace to some of the crew. Awwwww.
7 Stephen Hawking appearances
Before his death last year, the notable theoretical physicist appeared as himself more than half a dozen times on the series.
6 Bob Newhart guest-starring episodes
Speaking of Emmy wins, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Newhart’s six guest-star appearances throughout the series. He received three Emmy nominations and one win for his guest-starring role as Arthur Jeffries, a.k.a. Professor Proton, Sheldon’s childhood hero.
5 times WB has dedicated a stage to a show
In February, The Big Bang Theory became just the fifth show in Warner Bros.’ 95-year history to have its soundstage dedicated to them. From now on, Stage 25 (where the show has shot in front of a live studio audience for 12 years) will now be known as The Big Bang Theory stage. Only four other shows have earned that kind of status: Friends, ER, Two and a Half Men and Ellen.
3 flash mobs
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Ok 🎶 here it is! I give you (from many different angles!) our FINAL @bigbangtheory_cbs epic flash mob! Our cast and crew surprised the writers, producers, and audience last night dancing to @backstreetboys Larger than Life (a song that thanks the fans) thank you @bricuoco @mandykorpinen @elizabethpetrin for choreographing this epic dance and for my crew who rehearsed for months and listened to me yap on and on about this endlessly! 🤪 it was worth it!💃🏼 enjoy!!! #thefinalseason (PS @sanctionedjohnnygalecki hurt his ankle but he was cheering us on from the sides!)
It’s no secret this group of actors really gets along. So much so that they’ve gotten together in their spare time to execute flash mobs on three separate occasions to surprise fans and producers. The first one went down in 2012 to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” The second was in 2014 to “Uptown Funk.” And the third and final one went down a couple of months ago when the crew busted out a move to Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life,” a song selection that Cuoco explained was a tribute to fans.
2 Penny and Leonard weddings
Because getting hitched in Vegas without your friends and family meant not everyone could celebrate together, the couple eventually held another ceremony back home so that everyone could be included.